The recent high profile stories concerning problems with Employee Expenses at The National Audit Office and The Metropolitan Police has highlighted how important it is for organisations (both Public and Private sector) to have procedures and systems in place which manage the Employee Expense Management process.
Business Solution such as our own [email protected] and [email protected] (and others too) are being used by organisations throughout the world for precisely this reason but the interesting point about Sir John Bourn’s troubles is that a good expense management package would probably have come to his rescue rather than highlighting any misdemeanors!
Sir John is being publicly ridiculed for the £27, 000 claimed on meals over a 3 year period and in many of the tabloids is being portrayed as a character reminiscent of Monty Pythons Mr Creosote. A rudimentary grasp of maths would tell you his meals averaged less than £200 per week and while this is unlikely to see him nominated for “frugal CEO of the month”, it would barely register a blip compared to some of the claims I have seen in our work with clients over the years (I once saw a single expense claim for £28, 000 on client entertainment).
I would have liked to know how his expenses compared with his peers in other government departments, then perhaps we could have judged his “crimes”. If [email protected] had been in place its something they could have found the answer to in under 30 seconds.
With the correct systems in place, the Control and Monitoring of Employee Expenses could ensure that these type of problems never arise:
Software Has No Emotion – It enforces the rules and does not care whether you are the chief exec or the tea lady. Limits can be applied by person, department or any other rule you care to enforce. The enforcement approach can range from a stern refusal ([email protected] can stop the form being submitted), to a word in the ear of your boss (in the form of an alert to your manager) and also a friendly piece of advice (an alert to you which says “did you know you should only be claiming £200 per night rather than £300, are you sure?”)
Software Asks All The Right Questions – “What class of Airline Ticket?”, “How many of your colleagues were involved in the Client Entertainment?”, “What was the purpose?”
Software Churns The Numbers – “How much is he spending on Entertainment each month?”, “show me all employees who spend 10% above the 12 month average”, “which employees always forget their VAT Receipts?”
Of course the other great advantage of an automated expense management solution is that it ensures that all your employee expenses are in line with Inland Revenue Guidelines. When the inevitable audit arrives you can continue to sleep well at night!